Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Naija in Pixels & Ink


The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to the regulation for the use of explosives in mining activities by operators in the sector. The reassurance was made by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Musa Sada, while delivering a keynote address at the Stakeholders Forum on the Draft Explosives Act and Regulations held in Abuja. Sada said that the ministry deemed it necessary to convey the meeting to take stock of views and inputs by stakeholders in the mining industry on the Explosives Act, as it concerns new provisions for export, use, and security of explosives. “However, because of the determination of the ministry that our operational activities must not be completely sacrificed at the altar, security concern, emergency reforms and measures were periodically adopted. This is in line with the powers of the Minister to make regulations with respect with respect to explosives as considered expedient for the purpose of maintaining and securing public safety.In ensuring the realisation of this objective, everything possible was done to ensure that explosives, which are indispensable tools for the exploitation of minerals, construction materials and oil well logging and exploration services do not constitute any risk to national security.” The Minister further stated that the government will encourage the setting up of local manufacturing plants of explosives in the mining sector with the purpose of creating jobs, reducing huge capital flight, and also to enhance national security. He said the government will endeavour to provide the enabling environment to facilitate the growth of such capital intensive project. Meanwhile, the Principal Partner, Anthracyte Limited, Mr. Patrick Odiegwu, urged government to set up a biometrics data that will regulate and control operators who move and use explosives in the mining business. “Let there be bio-metrics reference to who is looking for the explosives, and the need to ensure who gets the explosives are actually operators in the mining business for their professional business. If there is no system to checkmate who comes in contact with the explosives that alone is explosive. What government is doing is the right thing to ensure explosives are not accessible to all comers. “We, in the mining industry and as stakeholders are supporting government on the regulation of the use of explosives because there is no way you can allow all comers to handle explosives. This should be for people who actually use it in their professional business and are known to government.And government should make the rules guiding the use of explosives known to the public so that business operators will package their business according to the prevailing regulations, and the laws should not be made arbitrarily that will not affect the business in the sector,” Odiewgu stated. Vanguard (online)